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Association News

Major Research Effort Saves Prized Oregon Tree
A 50-year effort by Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service has succeeded in identifying Port Orford cedar trees that are immune to a deadly tree fungus that once devastated their populations. The findings will open the door to a broad-scale recovery of this valued tree species, experts say.                       

“This is probably the best success story we’ve ever had in overcoming a pathogen of forest trees, which is a very difficult thing to do,” said Everett Hansen, an OSU professor of botany and plant pathology. “At least some of our trees now have complete immunity to this pathogen. Never before have we been able to come this far, this fast. The results are fairly dramatic.”                       

An attractive tree with white, decay-resistant, fine-grained wood, Port Orford cedar is native to the Coast Range of southern Oregon and northern California. It once was considered the most valuable conifer in North America and was the basis of a $40 million annual export industry.                       

Those markets, and many or most of the trees, are largely gone now, victims of an invasive fungus called Phytophthora lateralis, which first appeared in this region in the 1950s. Of the trees that were infected, almost 100 percent of them died. From the very few survivors, OSU and Forest Service researchers began a long, painstaking project to identify resistant seedlings, growing and testing them for the ability to survive a challenge by this fungus.           

The early returns were looking promising and now scientists say they are confident they have Port Orford cedar trees that are essentially immune to the fungus — at least, until the fungus mutates or increases its virulence.                                   

Resistant seed and seedlings for forest use are available through the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Rail Shippers Organize
Southwestern Oregon rail shippers have formed the Coos-Siskiyou Shippers Coalition to represent their interests after the closure of a rail spur from Eugene to Coos Bay, operated by the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad. Members of the group include Roseburg Forest Products, the Swanson Group, Keller Lumber, D.R. Johnson Lumber, and Douglas County Forest Products. Allyn Ford of Roseburg is the chairman of the group, according to the Associated Press.

Western Lumber Output Down 12.2%
The Western Wood Products Association reported that western lumber production totaled 13.679 billion board feet through October, down 12.2 percent compared to the first 10 months of 2006.                                   

Production in the Coast region through October was also down — 10.6 percent compared to January- October 2006. Inland output was off 14.9 percent during the same period. Western production during the month of October totaled 1.352 billion board feet, down 15.9 percent from the September total and off 6.3 percent from October 2006.                                   

On the national front, U.S. lumber production through September totaled 26.725 billion board feet, off 12.2 percent from January-September 2006.  

NTEA Releases Report Detailing Changing Truck Equipment Industry
The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) recently commissioned Acclaro Growth Partners (Washington, DC) to conduct a major marketplace study to help NTEA members and industry professionals understand factors shaping and changing the industry and the implications for truck equipment firms.                       

“ …the Report does state with certainty that the truck equipment industry is going through some major structural shifts that are and will likely continue creating major changes,” said Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. According to the Report, the key factors impacting the industry are: technology, customers, globalization, consolidation and government.                        The Report is $149 for NTEA members and $299 for nonmembers. www. ntea.com

AF&PA Hails U.S. – China in Combating Illegal Logging
In December, the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) commended U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi for reaching a groundbreaking agreement to combat illegal logging and associated trade and to promote sustainable forest management. The Memorandum of Understanding, agreed upon during the third round of talks under the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), is the first to address the important issue of illegal trade in a natural resource such as timber. AF&PA lauds the U.S.                        Administration’s tireless effort to strengthen the bilateral economic and trade relationship with China. AF&PA believes that the SED, based on highlevel consultation and cooperation, provides a mechanism for addressing other serious issues between the two countries. The Association is hopeful that the SED process will address structural changes that shift the Chinese economy away from export-led growth by tackling such critical issues as the undervalued Chinese currency, industrial subsidies and other export incentives, and alternatively place far greater emphasis on balanced, environmentally sound practices.